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Pot stocks are a dime a dozen nowadays. There is no lack of business out there promoting that their cannabis is greater quality than their peers. For investors, it makes purchasing a marijuana company all the more tough, particularly when it comes to finding up-and-coming stocks.
Having the ability to inform which stock is a pretender and which one is the genuine offer isn’t an easy task, but this little-known pot stock has a competitive benefit over its peers.
A biotech company that’s relied on marijuana
Amyris ( NASDAQ: AMRS) remains in the business of health and wellness and purports to produce pure active ingredients for its clients. In March 2019, the company announced that it signed an agreement worth potentially $300 million with Lavvan, a then-recently formed business. The companies agreed to collaborate in bringing cannabinoid products to market, with Amyris focusing on the research and advancement part of the process.
Image source: Getty Images.
In 2019, Amyris recorded profits of $183 million associated to the deal. It represented a modest 12%of the business’s total sales for the year but it’s an interesting growth opportunity for financiers.
Why there might be an even larger chance for Amyris
The arrangement that Amyris has in place with Lavvan is an appealing one, however that might simply be the start of its chances in the industry. The study found that Amyris’ technique for delivering cannabidiol (CBD) through sugarcane squalane was more reliable than hemp seed oil and other ways of carrying CBD. The company’s Neossance Squalane product was able to provide 10 to 40 times more CBD to the skin compared to other oils.
Hemp seed oil is popular in the marijuana market. A quicker and more impactful way to provide CBD might open many chances for Amyris in the CBD market. The business has said it’s made an application for a patent to safeguard its method of delivering CBD and other cannabinoids through using squalane. Amyris stated that it “thinks it will be the first company to provide highly pure and effective CBD from this innovation at business scale.”
If the business can protect a patent on an exceptional method for delivering CBD, it might be an essential differentiator. Not only will that help the company fulfill milestones related to its contract with Lavvan, but it could lead to other chances within the cannabis industry.
Does this make Amyris a buy?
Cannabis could be what sets Amyris’ stock on fire. A patent to produce top quality CBD could help the business land deals with other companies in the marijuana market.
The California-based business is still in its early development phases. On May 8, Amyris launched its first-quarter outcomes which saw income development of 103%from the prior-year period. In 2019, its top line grew by 140%. Regardless of the challenges and unpredictability that COVID-19 provides for the business and its consumers, Amyris still expects to see sales for 2020 to rise by 44%, with repeating sales anticipated to increase by 80%. The obstacle for the business remains the bottom line, where Amyris has actually been in the red in all however among its past 10 quarters.
Before buying Amyris, investors should also consider the SEC’s previous examinations into the company and Amyris’ failure to come through on promises in the past. While the business has high hopes for the future, that does not mean they’ll concern fulfillment. And till its squalane delivery method can deliver proven outcomes, financiers will be taking on some threat if they purchase shares of the company.
Currently, the stock trades at a modest 2.5 times its earnings and it might be a bargain buy for long-term marijuana financiers Year to date, shares of Amyris are up almost 40%while the S&P 500 is down by 6%.
David Jagielski has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.”>
In the initial installment of this roundtable, 6 marijuana leaders shared their intriguing insights on the pandemic’s impacts on their industry. In this 2nd part, those very same specialists sound off on other prompt topics, which include federal legalization and the CBD market.
The participants in this virtual roundtable are as follows: Morris Beegle, co-founder and president of WAFBA( We Are For Better Alternatives), a Colorado hemp business; Andrew DeAngelo, cannabis industry specialist and co-founder of California-based dispensary chain Harborside; Katie Stem, CEO of Peak Extracts, a edibles and cannabis chocolate manufacturer in Oregon; Sam Ludwig, president of Oakland, California-based Aster Farms, a sustainable cannabis company; and Mike Glazer and Mary Jane Gibson of marijuana podcast Weed Grub
This group Q&A was edited for conciseness and clearness.
Iris Dorbian: Exists anything you want to see happen on the federal level for marijuana?
Katie Stem: Interstate commerce and nationwide legalization.
Mike Glazer and Mary Jane Gibson: Cut the b , and stop utilizing the drug war as a tool of oppression. Legalization. A woman in office, for god’s sake.
Andrew DeAngelo: At the maximum, the Feds need to simply end everything and deschedule marijuana. Simply do it. We plainly have bigger fish to fry today. There are undoubtedly real dangers that need real resources and cannabis is far away from being among them. The Feds should, at a bare minimum, pass legislation ending the banking access problem for marijuana companies. This would allow us to take digital payments like charge card and significantly decrease cash handling and virus spread. The reality that this has not been done is a dereliction of responsibility and an outrageous omission of the oath they have required to every person.
Sam Ludwig: We would like marijuana to be enabled to get emergency situation relief funds.
Dorbian: What is the most significant growth market in the industry?
Stem: Unique consumers that are either coming back to cannabis from their young their adult years or finding it for the very first time. The deterrent of illegality and lack of accessibility has kept huge swaths of a number of demographics far from cannabis, and I think that the 55- and-older crowd is going to depend on cannabis and hemp products to handle their discomfort as they move into aging.
Glazer and Gibson: Edibles are recording a bigger market share than usual, and sales of pre-rolls have dropped, perhaps due to the danger of coronavirus breathing infections.
Beegle: Hemp-based foods that consist of hemp seed, hemp seed oil, CBD oil and complete spectrum hemp extracts as ingredients. This will include treats, cereals, superfoods, drinks and more.
Ludwig: The most significant development market is the Cannabis User 2.0. Availability and acceptance are skyrocketing and brand-new consumers are flocking to marijuana for medicinal and leisure usage.
Dorbian: Looks like whatever has CBD in it these days. Will this continue or will there be a reaction?
Stem: The need overall for CBD will continue, however the more ludicrous products that have little verifiable energy (aside from novelty) such as CBD clothing, pillows, etc. will ultimately fall off. That stated, I think CBD will have a place in every medication cabinet in the nation, either as a topical or ingestible due to the fact that it can have such a favorable influence on people’s sleep, anxiety, pain and swelling.
Beegle: The CBD trend will taper off and CBD in addition to CBG and other various hemp-derived extracts will end up being another ingredient used by formulators of supplements and foodstuff. That is, if the FDA supplies sensible guidelines around usings these ingredients.
DeAngelo: CBD is going to be around for a while, however I do believe it has actually been over-hyped to a hazardous degree and I stress about reaction. Like many things marijuana, the method in which we do things is really important.
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I am not one of those people who discovers the flaws of their significant other “lovely,” so while Austin is a fantastic person, I will never forgive him for his ability to go to sleep within minutes of getting in bed. As somebody who has actually typically battled sleeping disorders, and who basically constantly has to court sleep like an unrequited love interest, seeing this happen night after night seems like the ultimate betrayal– by him (for deserting me, obviously), but likewise by my own body for having a hard time to do something that needs to possibly come naturally.
I need to maintain a rigorous sleep health protocol if I do not wish to stay awake into the wee hours, chewing on immediate ideas: what I should have for supper the next day, whether someone is mad at me, how many followup e-mails is too many followup e-mails, and oh, did I keep in mind to order more floss? My protocol for falling asleep as expediently as possible includes taking a bath, eliminating screen time an hour before bed, and reading for at least 30 minutes. But sometimes life gets in the way and I can’t do all of that, or often I do all of that and I still feel wide awake– for this reason why I keep a supply of CBD supplements in my nightstand drawer.
I first attempted CBD a little over two years ago when the acronym (brief for “cannabidoil”) was just starting to get in mainstream vocabulary. I discovered it useful for fighting my sleep concerns right off the bat, however I ultimately found it even more valuable after continuing to explore which specific products work best for me. I’ve sampled dozens of CBD items ever since, with a large range of outcomes. The more I have actually tried, the pickier I have actually become, which is why I’m eager to share the 2 that have proven to be most effective in my experience: Gossamer Sunset, and Not Pot Vegan CBD Gummies
See All 2
I go with one or the other depending on the situation at hand. Gossamer Dusk is what I use most often– whenever I notice that I’m going to have trouble going to sleep, I’ll position a dropper’s worth under my tongue for 30 seconds prior to brushing my teeth (the oil does not taste incredible, so it’s good to follow it with something minty fresh). The results are mild enough to almost be invisible, but I definitely observe myself falling asleep more quickly after taking it, and I get up sensation absolutely refreshed with absolutely no grogginess. If you have an interest in finding out more about the active ingredients in this particular CBD mix, or about what CBD remains in basic, Gossamer’s website has an exceptional primer
Not Pot Vegan CBD Gummies are more comparable to the idiom, “draw out the huge guns”– in other words, they’re what I rely on when I require a more powerful sleep induction. In addition to 10 mg of CBD, each gummy is likewise instilled with 100 mg of L-theanine, an amino acid originated from green tea that studies have revealed can assist relieve stress and anxiety, and this combination appears to be exceptionally reliable when it concerns calming my mind and getting me into sleepy-time mode. I take them moderately due to the fact that I do discover that I am a bit drowsier than normal when I wake up in the early morning after having one, however it’s barely visible compared to what I’ve experienced with Ambien or NyQuil P.M.
Though neither Gossamer nor Not Pot manufacture products with THC– the psychoactive substance in cannabis that makes you feel “high”– they share a dedication to acknowledging the complex sociopolitical characteristics of weed and promoting criminal justice reform alongside legalization. Not Pot utilizes a portion of their revenues to pay for someone’s bail monthly, and Gossamer has devoted totally free advertisement space in their magazine for non-profits that do work associated to criminal justice reform and drug policy problems, in addition to making donations to organizations like the Women’s Prison Association. (For an useful analysis of these problems as they relate to the mainstreaming of cannabis, I highly recommend this piece by Otegha Uwagba).
After many, many years of fighting sleep issues– not to mention unreasonable jealousy of people who don’t, I’m so grateful these CBD products exist. I’ve been especially appreciative of them over the last couple of months, as the impact of quarantine on my psychological health has made things much more tough sleep-wise. If you remain in the same boat, I wonder what has actually been helpful for you. Have you attempted taking CBD? If so, from what brands? Does it fill you with petty rage when you witness another person going to sleep as quickly as their head strikes the pillow? Please inform me I’m not alone.
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Harling is the Brand Director at Man Repeller.
Aurora Cannabis (NYSE:ACB) finally made the move that investors have anxiously awaited for a long time. The Canadian cannabis producer announced last week that it entered into an agreement to buy Reliva, which boasts one of the top-selling CBD brands in the U.S. market.
Investors cheered the news that Aurora will soon be able to jump into the big U.S. CBD market. Several of the company’s top rivals, including Canopy Growth and Cronos Group, already have a presence in the U.S.
Aurora stated that Reliva is “profitable today” and will provide the company with a top hemp CBD brand that’s currently sold in more than 20,000 retail locations in the U.S. The last part of that statement is true. But don’t believe Aurora Cannabis’ profitability spin.
Image source: Getty Images.
Reliva is privately held, so there aren’t public documents available that provide details on the company’s financial performance. However, Aurora Cannabis interim CEO Michael Singer shared some interesting information in an interview with MarketWatch last week.
First, Reliva’s annual revenue is in the ballpark of $13 million to $14 million. This represents only a fraction of Aurora’s annual sales. Of course, the U.S. CBD market is still only in its early stages. Reliva could very well become a significant growth driver for Aurora.
The more eyebrow-raising thing that Singer said is that Reliva isn’t profitable on a GAAP basis, the accounting standard by which U.S. companies report their financial results. Instead, the small CBD company has only generated earnings on an adjusted basis.
Sometimes, adjusted earnings give investors a more accurate picture of how well a company is performing. For example, one-time expenses that don’t impact a company’s ongoing performance can be factored out. However, it’s impossible to know right now all of the adjustments that Reliva makes to be able to report its “profitability.” Some of those adjustments might not be as defensible as one-time expenses.
The bottom line is that we really don’t know how Reliva’s true bottom line looks. What we do know is that Aurora’s press release announcing the acquisition stated that Reliva was profitable (with no caveats or clarifications) and that it took a follow-up interview for investors to learn the rest of the story.
It’s not surprising that Aurora would refer to an adjusted financial number as being profitable, though. The company’s executives frequently do it when they discuss Aurora’s financial future.
For example, Singer talked about the company’s cost-cutting moves in his comments during Aurora’s Q3 conference call earlier this month. He stated that these moves will “fuel profitability” for Aurora. However, anytime Aurora’s management team mentions profitability, they’re actually meaning adjusted EBITDA profitability.
If you’re not familiar with EBITDA, the term stands for earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization. Generating positive EBITDA is a good thing, especially for Aurora, which posted negative adjusted EBITDA of 50.9 million in Canadian dollars in the third quarter. However, positive adjusted EBITDA is categorically not the same thing as profitability.
Aurora thinks that it will be able to deliver positive adjusted EBITDA by the first quarter of fiscal 2021, which ends on Sept. 30, 2020. But the Canadian cannabis producer will still be losing money even if it achieves this goal. The company has over CA$246 million in loans and borrowings for which it must pay interest. And while Aurora has benefited from tax recoveries in the current fiscal year, at some point paying taxes will negatively impact its financial results.
Note also that the word “adjusted” is still being used. Unlike the situation with Reliva, though, we have a pretty good idea of which adjustments Aurora can take with its EBITDA figure because the terms of its financial covenants for its debt facility spell them out.
Beyond the spin
The good news for Aurora is that it appears to be making solid progress toward its goal of generating positive adjusted EBITDA by the end of September. The company’s acquisition of Reliva should also be positive over the long run as the U.S. CBD market grows.
However, there are still significant challenges for Aurora. It remains to be seen how quickly the Canadian market will rebound as restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic are relaxed. The marijuana stock could give up much of its recent gains with any bumps in the road.
Most importantly, Aurora could have to go to the well yet again to raise additional cash through another dilution-causing stock offering or attempt to take on even more debt. Until the company is truly profitable, Aurora’s prospects could be shaky. And what Aurora calls profitability isn’t true profitability.
Keith Speights has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.”>
Many of the best stocks to buy come with a high price tag. This fact is hardly surprising: Companies with exciting growth prospects will generally attract a lot of attention, and as investors load up on shares of these companies, their stock prices rise accordingly. However, it is still possible to find good stocks to buy on a budget, especially considering that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has led to so many great stocks being thrown in the discount bin. With that in mind, here are two excellent cannabis stocks that are currently going for less than $10 apiece: Charlotte’s Web Holdings (OTC:CWBHF) and Planet 13 Holdings (OTC:PLNH.F).
Charlotte’s Web Holdings
Charlotte’s Web provides cannabidiol (CBD)-derived products such as gummies and oils, and the company stands as one of the leading players in this industry. Charlotte’s Web continues to expand its footprint in this market, too. The company’s products can now be found in more than 10,000 stores across the U.S., and that number is set to increase soon: Charlotte’s Web recently announced it would acquire Abacus Health, which provides over-the-counter CBD products in more than 12,000 stores, in an all-stock transaction valued at $69 million.
Image source: Getty Images.
This transaction, which is expected to close sometime this year, will significantly increase Charlotte’s Web’s footprint in its market and diversify the company’s product offering. Still, detractors may point to a significant obstacle that could hinder Charlotte’s Web’s growth: Last year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) famously informed consumers about the dangers of CBD, warning that the substance can cause liver damage.
The FDA has also issued warning letters to several companies making unproven claims about the health benefits of their CBD-based products. These developments did affect Charlotte’s Web’s financial performance; CEO Deanie Elsner noted that “in November, the FDA issued several warning letters to certain CBD companies which caused our customers to pull back across all channels, negatively impacting the sector and our sales.”
There is at least one other way in which the FDA is proving to be a thorn in Charlotte’s Web’s side. The company argues that its growth is being hindered by the lack of regulatory direction regarding CBD products. But even with these obstacles, I believe investors would do well to bet on Charlotte’s Web. Not only will the recent acquisition of Abacus Health boost its revenue and profits, but in the long run, the company is ready to profit once the FDA finally does release these regulatory directions.
To quote Elsner again: “The opportunity for Charlotte’s Web will be both the expansion of our distribution breadth across national retailers, in addition to the expansion of our portfolio depth within each retailer. The catalyst for this significant revenue inflection point would be the FDA setting guidelines for dietary supplements.”
In my view, these factors make Charlotte’s Web’s stock a buy, especially considering that its shares are trading for just under $7 apiece at the moment.
Planet 13 Holdings
Planet 13 Holdings is a marijuana dispensary operator headquartered in Las Vegas. But this isn’t just any weed store: Planet 13 has managed to differentiate itself from its operators and carve out a niche for itself with its flagship location in Las Vegas, which it calls a “cannabis entertainment complex.” Simply put, the focus of this particular dispensary is on the experience of the customers as much as on the cannabis products the company sells.
Planet 13′ “Superstore” boasts a restaurant and a coffee shop, among other things. And the store benefits from one significant advantage — location. Planet 13’s superstore is located near the Las Vegas Strip, which means it is almost guaranteed to attract a significant number of visitors year-round — unless, of course, there is a pandemic forcing people to practice social distancing. Thanks to its unique business model, Planet 13 Holdings performed well last year.
The company had more than a million visitors during the year, accounting for about 9% of cannabis sales in a competitive market in Nevada. Last year, while many cannabis companies were busy shedding much of their value, Planet 13 Holdings’ stock soared by almost 80%. Sure, the company isn’t doing nearly as well this year, but that’s hardly surprising given the current market conditions. Looking forward, though, Planet 13 Holdings could be a big winner in the long run.
The company has plans to expand its presence and open eight more cannabis superstores in several high-profile U.S. cities over the next five years. Planet 13 Holdings is still in the early stages of its growth, and as the company expands its presence, its revenue and earnings could follow suit. That’s why investors would do well to buy shares of the cannabis company at a measly $1.25 apiece.
Prosper Junior Bakiny has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Planet 13 Holdings Inc. The Motley Fool recommends Charlotte’s Web. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.”>
‘There Is An Active Discussion Of CBD Happening Across The Country,’ Says A New Report. And That Spells Opportunity.
In 2017, when celebrity host (The View) Whoopi Goldberg was enjoying the high point of her then-new CBD brand, Maya & Whoopi, a reporter asked what the next step was. “World domination,” Goldberg joked at the time.
She might have been onto something.
Goldberg this year parted ways with her business partner, Maya Elisabeth; the result was that their company folded. But if Goldberg back in 2017 was predicting a big future for CBD startups, she wasn’t off the mark, judging from a the findings of a new survey from New Frontier Data.
“The newness of the CBD experience for most consumers suggests there remains significant opportunity for well-developed brands to attract consumer attention and capture market share from existing market leaders,” the report says. A big reason why startups might have an edge, the researchers imply? The novelty factor.
“Consumers have not been using the products with sufficient longevity to create durable brand loyalty that is difficult to dislodge,” the report says.
To compile the study, New Frontier Data surveyed 4,074 U.S. adults in mid-March. The survey population consisted of 26% of subjects who earned less than $30,000; 27% earning $39,000 to $59,999; 27% earning $60,000 to $89,999; and 16% earning $90,000 and up.
Among the report’s chief takeaways:
Familiarity with CBD is an important factor
· CBD is hardly unknown to the American mainstream. “Nearly 9 in 10 Americans are familiar with CBD,” the report says. Some 86% of those surveyed had heard of CBD, and a majority (55%) were interested in learning more. Younger cohorts tended to be more interested than older groups.
· Word of mouth is a common thread: Nearly 3 in 4 (73%) of those surveyed who’d heard of CBD reported having had a conversation about it, including the 67% who had not consumed it. People reported that their conversations were largely positive.
· Positive associations: 51% of those surveyed knew a friend or family member who’d used CBD, and nearly 1 in 5 (17%) had recommended CBD to someone else.
· Frequency: Among Americans who reported ever having consumed CBD, 40% said they did so at least once a week, with older consumers using it more frequently than younger ones.
· CBD consumers seem to be evangelists. A majority, 56%, said they had recommended CBD products to someone else.
Stress and pain are major reasons for use
· Three in five (60%) of consumers surveyed reported using CBD in a context that might be called “unwinding,” such as relaxation, relief of stress or anxiety reduction. The primary use, however (41%), was pain management.
Means of Consumption
· Oils and tinctures led the way, at 38% (of the ways in which consumers surveyed consume CBDs). Topicals were the next most widely used method, at 19%; then: food or drinks, 18%; flower, 8%; pills/capsules, 7%; and vaping, 7%.
· Some 43% of consumers said they used less than 30 mg. a day; 22% reported using 50 mg. or more; and 12% used 100 mg. or more a day.
· Some 65% of consumers surveyed said CBD had positively affected their quality of life. Only 2% described a negative effect.
Level of expenditure
· Most consumers (59%) said they spent less than $50 a month on CBD.
· Some 46% of male consumers surveyed said they used CBD at least once a week, versus 36% of women in the survey population.
· On average, men spent more for CBD than did women. Men were more likely (21%) than women (12%) to spend more than $100 per month. Purchasers ages 35 to 54 were the most likely (21%) of any group to spend more than $100 per month.
· CBD purchasers reported being generally happy with the products they were able to purchase, depending on the regulations in their geographic area; 71% agreed they were satisfied with their purchases.
· When selecting which CBD product to purchase, price and quantity of CBD were the most important factors to those surveyed. Convenience of location and service from staff were also important criteria.
· Some 51% of purchasers said they usually purchased familiar brands. About 29% said they would be likely to purchase CBD in the next six months.
Where the Opportunities Lie
For CBD startups, the women’s market for might be one smart place to focus, considering that male survey respondents were far more likely (21%) than women (12%) to spend more than $100 per month.
Another wise move might be to market only products backed by clinical studies and clear, authoritative information. The reasons here would be the importance consumers put on reliable information, as well as the strict FDA restrictions against promoting CBD for medical purposes.
Infusions as a method for consumption also seem to be of growing interest, while smoking is losing users due to social norms, especially during the current COVID-19 crisis when so many cannabis medical users are housebound.
Finally, given the anxiety during the crisis and the prevalence of word of mouth in spreading information about CBDs, companies might want to turn to such marketing channels as referral discounts, loyalty programs and high-production-value consumer testimonials, according to the New Frontier Data report.
In recent weeks, Aurora Marijuana ( NYSE: ACB) stock has actually seen brand-new life.
Then, on May 20, the marijuana producer likewise announced it was getting Reliva, a cannabidiol (CBD) brand name that would enable it to permeate the U.S. market. As amazing an opportunity as that might appear initially glimpse, here’s why investors shouldn’t put too much stock in it.
It’s getting in a currently crowded hemp market
Numerous headings advertise Aurora’s recent acquisition as the company getting into the U.S. CBD market. All types of CBD aren’t legal in the U.S. (federally), and Aurora can’t use non-hemp items that consist of more than 0.3%of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
Image source: Getty Images.
Fortunately is that according to research study business BDS Analytics and Arcview Marketing Research, the total CBD market in the U.S. is still expected to reach $20 billion by 2024, up from just $1.9 billion in2018 The forecast didn’t break out the split between hemp and non-hemp products. And the problem is that the rosy outlook for CBD does not mean the chance is going to translate into considerable development for Aurora.
That’s due to the fact that Aurora will not just be taking on other U.S. business for market share, however with Canadian pot stocks that are also wanting to take advantage of the chances in the hemp market. The company’s key competitor, Canopy Development ( NYSE: CGC) is already in the CBD hemp market in the U.S., and one of the relocations it’s making to cut expenses is to actually stop farming for hemp at its Springfield, New york city area. The pot giant stated it had “an abundance of hemp produced in the 2019 growing season” that it was going to sell initially prior to making more. It’s not just Canopy Development that has an excess of supply, either; it’s a problem for the entire industry.
Julie Lerner, who is CEO of the PanXchange where hemp is traded, confirmed in January that there was much more supply than need for hemp. That’s not going to bode well for a business like Aurora, which is attempting to improve on its margins and get closer to profitability.
Having access to countless places doesn’t guarantee development
In the news release revealing the acquisition of Reliva, there wasn’t a great deal of information on how huge of a player the business remains in the hemp market. Although Aurora referred to Reliva as “a leader in the sale of hemp-derived CBD products in the United States,” there wasn’t anything to measure or justify that other than to say that its items were sold in more than 20,000 U.S. places. According to analysts, Reliva’s sales over a 12- month duration ending in February amounted to $14 million in income.
Hemp-derived CBD business Charlotte’s Web ( OTC: CWBHF), sells its items in less locations, and it has far stronger sales. In the company’s first-quarter outcomes, released on May 14, Charlotte’s Web revealed that its reach exceeded 11,000 areas and that its sales for the three-month period amounted to $215 million. And although it’s seen a boost in the variety of stores carrying its products, that hasn’t equated into significant development.
A year ago, the company recorded sales of $217 million when its items were in more than 6,000 places. The increase in locations over the past year hasn’t resulted in a rise in sales for Charlotte’s Web, and Aurora financiers shouldn’t make the mistake of assuming more areas indicate higher income.
The move doesn’t make Aurora a better buy
Aurora expects Reliva to help the Alberta-based pot manufacturer inch better to accomplishing a positive adjusted earnings before earnings, taxes, devaluation, and amortization (EBITDA) figure. With Aurora sustaining an adjusted EBITDA loss of 50.9 million Canadian dollars in Q3, it has a long way to go to reach breakeven, with or without Reliva. The acquisition may help play a small part in improving Aurora’s bottom line, however the business still has a lot of work to do in enhancing its financials.
The only certainty, it seems, is that the deal will result in more dilution for investors. The business anticipate the deal will close in June, and it will cost Aurora as much as $45 million in shares.
The acquisition is a modest one for Aurora that will help contribute to its leading line, but that has to do with it; Aurora remains a dangerous buy, and one quarter and one acquisition isn’t going to change that. The pot stock is still down more than 80%over the past 12 months, especially even worse than the Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences ETF ( OTC: HMLSF), which has actually fallen by 60%.
David Jagielski has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Charlottes Web Holdings. The Motley Fool recommends Charlotte’s Web. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.”> David Jagielski has no position in any of the stocks pointed out. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Charlottes Web Holdings. The Motley Fool suggests Charlotte’s Web. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy“>
So, things are pretty terrible right now. The world feels like a dumpster fire that spread to the bed of a garbage truck before setting the entire landfill ablaze. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or anxious or generally irritable, that’s perfectly natural, and there are plenty of tried-and-true methods you can use to lift your spirits: talk to a therapist, get in a good stretch, maybe turn on a soothing podcast. But what if there was something simpler, more immediate, and less expensive than that mail-order CBD subscription of yours? What if you could just throw on a pair of sunglasses and suddenly feel better, calmer, happier?
That’s the promised voodoo behind the first collection from Futuremood, a Bay Area eyewear brand that launched earlier this week. All of their sunglasses feature specially tinted lenses—using a new technology called Halochrome, developed by the German lens savants at Zeiss—that purportedly alter your mood by manipulating light and color.
There are four colors (or “auras,” as Futuremood likes to call them) to choose from, each one designed to elicit a specific feeling: green is for relaxation; red provides energy; yellow offers focus; blue refreshes your mind. The effect, Futuremood co-founder Michael Schaecher alleges, “is less subtle than CBD, but more subtle than caffeine.” The brand’s extremely extra website markets its wares, somewhat regrettably, as “wearable drugs.”
When Futuremood’s initial press release landed in my inbox, I rolled my eyes so hard that I altered my own mood. But then I looked around at the granola self-care habits I’ve developed, particularly as the days in isolation wear on: I meditate, I drink expensive vegan superfood shakes, I listen to corny Louise Hay affirmations on YouTube. Were Prozac sunglasses that different? If they could ease my existential angst—even by a fraction, even by placebo—then why not give ’em a shot? So I asked Futuremood to send me a few pairs.
What I received were three pairs with the red, blue, and yellow lenses. (Disappointingly, I didn’t get to test green—the “relax and soothe” aura—which I assume Futuremood expects to sell the most of right now.) Despite the techno-crunchy sales pitch—and the complimentary incense in the boxes—the glasses themselves don’t look gimmicky. They come in two frame styles: a classic, Moscot-esque keyhole shape and a chunkier clout goggles situation—all fashioned using top-notch Japanese acetate and gold-plated German hinges. The glasses also do shield your eyes from the sun: all of the lenses have full UV protection, along with anti-glare, anti-scratch, and water-resistant coatings. (Amusingly, the mood-shifting claims are powerful enough to warrant a note that warns not to wear them while driving—wouldn’t want to be too alert or calm on the road.)
I spent a few days testing all three pairs indoors and out—around 30 to 45 minutes at a time, which is how long Futuremood recommends before giving your eyes a break. To answer your question in as unsatisfying a way as possible, the glasses did…something. Did I feel the specific effects that Futuremood ascribed to each color—energy for red, focus for yellow? Not always, not exactly. But each of them yielded novel and, I guess, pleasing sensations. The blue lenses helped to balance out and color correct my apartment’s distinctly yellow, drab overhead lights I’ve been working under for two months now. The yellow pair made everything look a little bit like a Fincher movie: a mildly heightened sense of reality, with the contrast dialed up to 11.
The biggest trip of all were the red frames, which turned everything a searing crimson. It was legitimately disorienting at first, like waking up on an alien world or, as Schaecher puts it, “an underground Berlin club at three in the morning.” This certainly gave me a jolt at first, but more in a panicky my-edibles-just-kicked-in-hard way than a welcome double-shot-of-espresso one. Once I relaxed into the experience, though, it evened out to something akin to an amusing, low-grade lucid dream. I could see them maybe being fun to wear at, say, a music festival, if those ever actually happen again.
Whether or not the Futuremood glasses actively improved my energy is tough to say, but all three shades I tested absolutely put me at a slight remove from my everyday life—which felt nice for a little while. I did feel a soothing buzz during and after my wear tests. I think?
Dr. Ivan Schwab, the director of cornea services at the UC Davis Medical Center, isn’t arguing with the effects, though he doesn’t think it has anything to do with Halochrome™. “I think this falls more in the realm of psychology than it does in optics,” Dr. Schwab told me when I asked if there’s any scientific basis for the claims Futuremood makes about its lenses. The studies Futuremood cites, he said, are largely proprietary tests conducted by Zeiss. But in his view, it comes to how your brain—a product of nature and nurture—interprets color.
“The question I have is: Do other societies—completely different societies, like Amazonian tribes, for example—do they have the same psychology for colors as we do?” he says. He shrugged when I asked if they were some form of dangerous. As long as they had proper UV protection, there’s no harm. Besides to Dr. Schwab’s sense of style: “Those red ones, well, they might shock Elton John, for heaven’s sake.”
Are Futuremood’s sunglasses really combating the compounding anxieties that 2020 keeps hurtling our way? Probably not. But I do find myself reaching for them throughout the day, as I ramble around my apartment. I’ll take all the mood-altering I can get right now.
Futuremood Aurazone 100 sunglasses
Futuremood Aurabliss 5000 sunglasses
Futuremood Auraflow 100 sunglasses
Futuremood Auraboost 5000 sunglasses
A team led by researchers at Baylor College of Medicine in collaboration with Medterra CBD conducted the first scientific studies to assess the potential therapeutic effects of cannabidiol (CBD) for arthritic pain in dogs, and the results could lead the way to studying its effect in humans. Researchers focused first on these animals because their condition closely mimics the characteristics of human arthritis, the leading cause of pain and disability in the U.S. for which there is no effective treatment.
Published in the journal Pain, the study first showed both in laboratory tests and mouse models that CBD, a non-addictive product derived from hemp (cannabis), can significantly reduce the production of inflammatory molecules and immune cells associated with arthritis. Subsequently, the study showed that in dogs diagnosed with the condition, CBD treatment significantly improved quality of life as documented by both owner and veterinarian assessments. This work supports future scientific evaluation of CBD for human arthritis.
“CBD is rapidly increasing in popularity due to its anecdotal health benefits for a variety of conditions, from reducing anxiety to helping with movement disorders,” said corresponding author Dr. Matthew Halpert, research faculty in the Department of Pathology and Immunology at Baylor. “In 2019, Medterra CBD approached Baylor to conduct independent scientific studies to determine the biological capabilities of several of its products.”
In the current study, Halpert and his colleagues first measured the effect of CBD on immune responses associated with arthritis, both in human and murine cells grown in the lab and in mouse models. Using Medterra tinctures, they found that CBD treatment resulted in reduced production of both inflammatory molecules and immune cells linked to arthritis.
The researchers also determined that the effect was quicker and more effective when CBD was delivered encapsulated in liposomes than when it was administered ‘naked.’ Liposomes are artificially formed tiny spherical sacs that are used to deliver drugs and other substances into tissues at higher rates of absorption.
Halpert and colleagues next assessed the effect of naked and liposome-encapsulated CBD on the quality of life of dogs diagnosed with arthritis.
“We studied dogs because experimental evidence shows that spontaneous models of arthritis, particularly in domesticated canine models, are more appropriate for assessing human arthritis pain treatments than other animal models. The biological characteristics of arthritis in dogs closely resemble those of the human condition,” Halpert said.
Arthritis is a common condition in dogs. According to the American Kennel Club, it affects one out of five dogs in the United States.
The 20 client-owned dogs enrolled in the study were seen at Sunset Animal Hospital in Houston. The dog owners were randomly provided with identical unidentified medication bottles that contained CBD, liposomal CBD, or a placebo. Neither the owners nor the veterinarian knew which treatment each dog received.
After four weeks of daily treatment, owners and veterinarians reported on the condition of the dogs, whether they observed changes in the animals’ level of pain, such as changes related to running or gait. The dogs’ cell blood count and blood indicators of liver and kidney function also were evaluated before and after the four weeks of treatment.
“We found encouraging results,” Halpert said. “Nine of the 10 dogs on CBD showed benefits, which remained for two weeks after the treatment stopped. We did not detect alterations in the blood markers we measured, suggesting that, under the conditions of our study, the treatment seems to be safe.”
Chris D. Verrico et al, A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of daily cannabidiol for the treatment of canine osteoarthritis pain, Pain (2020). DOI: 10.1097/j.pain.0000000000001896
Researchers find CBD improves arthritis symptoms in dogs (2020, May 28)
retrieved 29 May 2020
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Hosting the perfect party in the great outdoors doesn’t have to involve you moving any further than your own backyard. Whether you’re looking for games to play with friends, chairs to keep you comfortable, or tents to turn your yard into your own personal campsite, check out some of these essential products that will transform your own patch of nature into a true outdoor oasis.
1. Wine Tumbler; $20
These wine tumblers from Otterbox will make your backyard the toast of the summer. Made from 100 percent stainless steel and lined with copper, these 10-ounce cups will keep your wine at the perfect temperature until the last s’more is eaten and the fire is put out. Each tumbler holds two standard wine pours and has a sweat-resistant design so you can leave your coasters inside. And each tumbler is fitted with a press-in lid, keeping your drink secure whether you’re taking a walk or playing a game with friends.
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This steel wood-burning fire pit is exactly what you need to create a little ambiance once the moon is out and friends and family are ready to unwind with some roasted marshmallows. The pit itself is only a few feet across, so you’ll be able to build a cozy fire for a handful of people, and the mesh screen that secures over it will keep the sparks away from you and your party.
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No backyard adventure is complete without a tasty meal, and these kabob grilling baskets will help you spend less time on the grill and more time enjoying the beauty of nature. These baskets can be packed with all the ingredients you could ever want for kabobs, and without wooden skewers involved, you’ll avoid any unwanted splinters in your meal. With the ability to customize each basket, you’ll have the flexibility to create the perfect portable dinner for guests (or just for yourself).
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Beer lovers won’t have to worry about foregoing a cold one while spending some time outside. This soft cotton canvas caddy can hold up to six bottles or cans, and it comes with a removable inner divider, so you have the flexibility of mixing and matching different-sized beverages. Its attached bottle opener—which is hooked to the caddy via a retractable cord— can be stowed in a side pocket for quick access, allowing you to open your drinks with ease.
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5. Outdoor Jenga; $119
Mix up the usual ghost stories and campfire singalongs with this giant game of outdoor Jenga. Fifteen times larger than the size of a standard Jenga game, these extra-large Jenga blocks can stack up to over 5 feet high and are the perfect size for a deck or beach towel. This set comes with a portable bag for all the blocks so you can easily transport the game from one spot in the backyard to another.
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6. and 7. Camping Chair; $30 and Loveseat Camping Chair; $73
If you’re not a fan of sitting on wet grass or getting bugs on your clothes, this camping chair from Coleman will help you kick back in style. The chair has a cushioned seat and back for maximum outdoor comfort, and it also has a built-in four-can cooler pouch to keep cold beverages handy. It even comes with a nifty side pocket for books, magazines, and newspapers.
For anyone who hates toting multiple chairs outside, check out this loveseat-style camping chair! Its ergonomic design seats two people with ease, and it’s supported by a rust-resistant steel frame and weather-resistant fabric for withstanding the elements (or just a shower from a nearby sprinkler). Even though it can hold up to 400 pounds of weight, the chair itself weighs only 11 pounds, making it an ideal choice for anyone who wants to avoid making extra trips to the garage for gear.
8. Camping Hammock; $29-$40
If you’re one to go a bit horizontal toward the end of a party, take a look at this hammock from Wise Owl Outfitters. Made from heavy-duty parachute nylon, this hammock is incredibly durable and can be secured to trees with a simple set of straps. The hammock comes in two different sizes, a twin and a full, so you can choose the size that’s right for you. And best of all? The largest one weighs only 26 ounces, making it easy to take comfort on the go.
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9. Magnetic Door House Tent; $172
Mosquitos, flies, and other outdoor pests don’t stand a chance against this portable screened-in porch from Wayfair. This outdoor sanctuary is big enough to fit a picnic table (and all of your friends) inside, and it features two magnetic-close front and back doors. This tent even comes with a 10-year warranty, so you can rest easy knowing that it will provide you with backyard adventures—and zero bug bites—for years to come.
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At Mental Floss, we only write about the products we love and want to share with our readers, so all products are chosen independently by our editors. Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a percentage of any sale made from the links on this page. Prices and availability are accurate as of the time of publication.
Austin Soldner and Michael Schaecher, the co-founders of the new sunglasses brand Futuremood, met at the freshly formed San Francisco research study and development lab produced by the high-end audio tech developer Bose.
The two were tasked with working on Bose’s sunglasses wearable and bonded over a shared interest in tennis shoes and style. Over lots of discussions the two men understood there was an opportunity to use innovation to reword the sunglasses playbook and release the first new brand to the market given that Oakley came on the scene.
There was likewise an opportunity to bring the products science and tech-forward techniques that sneaker companies have actually established to a market that hadn’t seen any genuine technical revolutions in years.
Enter Futuremood “Auras,” which the business bills as the first glasses scientifically tested and proven to modify your mood.
Using innovation developed by the lens producer Zeiss, Futuremood’s very first glasses can be found in four colors– a relaxing green, a refreshing blue, a stimulating red and a focusing yellow. The business is launching its eyewear in 2 designs, a blocky, chunky frame and a more traditional rounded frame.
Any mood-altering effects are thanks to Zeiss’ halochrome lens innovation, which the lens producer has actually been dealing with– and releasing documents on– to suss out the science behind its claims that using filtered light can alter the method folks feel.
There’s some preliminary research study that the business has done, however the science is still largely unverified (Zeiss carried out two research studies at European universities).
Schaecher and Soldner are believers, and the 2 long time tech officers see these lenses as a window into a wider world of product science experimentation and item development that they’re wanting to bring to market with Futuremood.
” If you consider sneakers and where Nike and Adidas got to where they are today, it was through development in product design and products and branding and marketing and all of that had actually been missing out on from the sunglasses area,” Schaecher stated.
The 2nd marketing hire at Airbnb and the first marketing hire at the now-defunct Munchery, Schaecher understands a thing or 2 about branding. Soldner, the founder of Playground.fm, and a former item designer at Jawbone, is the technical expert and lead designer for all of Futuremood’s frames.
” We truly saw a chance to push the envelope in technical innovation and item development,” said Schaecher. “We have a backlog of things to forge ahead of what sunglasses are.”
One thing sunglasses are is an extremely huge organisation. Customers invested $145 billion on sunglasses in 2018, according to the market research study company, Grand View Research
If Futuremood can capture even a fraction of that market with its special spin on sunglasses, it’ll remain in good condition.
As with any excellent direct to customer product, Futuremood’s distinction starts with its packaging.
In an e-mail, Schaecher explained the experience as “not as subtle as CBD, however not as strong as a shot of tequila or glass of Rosé.
” Austin and I are truly into various methods of self care and taking moments and … we thought there was a chance to bring pleasure and pleasure,” with the packaging, Schaecher said. “ We do not expect individuals to be shooting up Spotify playlists and incense matches whenever they use things.”
Futuremood has actually been mainly bootstrapped to date, and like everything else in the year of our Lord 2020, the company’s strategies were pressed back by the coronavirus pandemic.
” Our lenses are made in Zeiss’ Italian factory and the glasses were made beyond Shenzhen,” said Schaecher. “We quarantined the very first order for two weeks. Zeiss was right because area of Italy that was getting hit hard. We have actually been delaying since then. It’s tough to take into words what it resembles to grind on something for eighteen months … and after that have to delay launching.”
Even with the pandemic, however, the company moved ahead with the style for its 2nd product, and that gives a hint for where Schaecher and Soldner want to choose their organisation. “We have our 2nd product line which is not mood-altering glasses,” said Schaecher. “That’s a traditional sunglasses line that uses titanium alloy metals that are more typically seen in aerospace than in glasses.”
The style visual is also more in the high-end vein, which Schaecher teased belonged to something that would be more in the house in a Cartier display room rather than a direct to customer brand’s digital shop.
Right now, the company is going direct to consumers through its website, however it’s looking at the capacity for some retail partnerships and field marketing when the nation opens back up for organisation.
As for the mood-altering results and whether “wearable drug” can win market share, Schaecher is pretty optimistic.
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We at Real Tested CBD run all the items through laboratory tests and present whatever in black and white for our readers. Today, we evaluate Charlotte’s Web and its CBD products that consist of balms, creams, tincture, edibles, and capsules.
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Our test results reveal the CBD levels are half the quantity of what the label claims. It does include a good CBD quantity still along with other helpful cannabinoids.53 mg per package; whereas, CBD levels are at224
This hemp-infused skin cream includes 750 mg of hemp extract. It does consist of some CBD goodness, but our test results indicate these levels to be lower than the label’s claims. It has 19.1 mg of CBC and 14.63 mg of THC, which can be extremely useful to unwind. Plus, there is 328.74 of CBD crammed in this product.
Wow, this CBD isolate cast by Charlotte’s web is one of our favorites. It delivers 20 mg of CBD per drop, and our test results indicate that this cast contains more CBD than the label claims, which is a good thing as it increases the effectiveness of this item. The CBD levels are a whopping782
This Web Hemp extract tincture is an exceptional CBD item that is real to its label claims. We would state a great job! It offers 12 mg of pure CBD extract that uses other helpful cannabinoids present in all-natural hemp extract used in this product. It contains THC, CBC, and CBG at 17.87 mg, 17.65 mg, and 3.11 mg per package, respectively. The total amount of CBD per plan is 533.8 mg, without any trace of pesticides or solvents.
Our lab tests discovered an acceptable range of CBD per canister at listed below 25%. It appears to be full-spectrum CBD and contains CBC and THC in the mix, which makes it area on with its entire hemp extract claim. The CBD, THC, and CBC quantities are at449
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Over the course of nearly a week, Aurora Cannabis( ACB) has risen more than 200%from the reverse split lows near $5 before the strong FQ3 report My investment thesis was really bullish after the transformational quarter and favorable prospects for reaching EBITDA favorable in the September quarter, but the stock rally to more than $17 on a small U.S. CBD acquisition is too far, too quickly.
U.S. CBD Offer
After the close on Wednesday, Aurora Marijuana announced an offer to enter the U.S. CBD market with the purchase of Reliva for $40 million in stock with an extra earn-out capacity of another $45 million in money or stock. The deal is adjusted EBITDA accretive basically because the business is EBITDA favorable and Aurora Cannabis is still creating large EBITDA losses.
Reliva apparently has a profits base of $14 million, making the offer reasonably little in comparison to Aurora Cannabis, which is on a course towards earnings of $300 million in FY21 ending in June. The offer pulls Aurora Marijuana into the U.S. market with the included intricacies of operating a leisure cannabis service in Canada and international medical marijuana in numerous global nations on top of this new venture.
The deal also immerses Aurora Cannabis into a highly competitive U.S. CBD market where market leader Charlotte’s Web Holdings( OTCQX: CWBHF) has had a hard time. The company saw Q1 earnings decrease 1% to $215 million due to the FDA restrictions.
Reliva has access to 20,000 retail places in the U.S. and is ranked as the No. 1 CBD gamer in topicals. The product classification dominated by this business isn’t the one reduced by the FDA guidelines which limits the sale of hemp-infused CBD in dietary supplements triggering the weak point at CWH.
In addition, purchasing Reliva doesn’t permit Aurora Marijuana to go into the medical or recreational cannabis market. The federal government still has to authorize marijuana for a business noted on the significant stock market to go into those markets and the business will have to buy their method into inflated stock valuations in the future.
Aurora Marijuana is making a wise transfer to swoop into the U.S. market with a small initial purchase in a land and broaden move. The business does not have a lot of money at risk here by entering a highly-competitive market with getting a potential competitor when getting in the marketplace with their own brand name.
Sadly for investors, the stock has skyrocketed off the $5.30 lows prior to the FQ3 profits report. Aurora Marijuana is now up to $1740 With 109 million shares heading into the this deal and ~112 million after the stock deal, Aurora Cannabis now suddenly has a market cap of $1.95 billion.
Aurora Cannabis still has a lots of expense cuts to execute while keeping some moderate revenue development in order to reach EBITDA positive in Q1’21 The business is still targeting reducing operating costs to the C$45 million variety while analysts have revenues growing sequentially in the next couple of quarters. Attaining this goal isn’t an assurance as the company cuts operating expenses by 50%over the course of a few months. Most companies run into unanticipated missteps when removing employees.
The Canadian marijuana stocks are typically more costly than the U.S. multi-state operators. Both Aurora Marijuana and Canopy Development( CGC) trade around an EV/S multiple of 6x while the U.S. MSOs of Curaleaf( OTCPK: CURLF) and Trulieve Marijuana( OTCQX: TCNNF) trade at half the multiples at below 3x.
Aurora Marijuana is still working toward an aggressive objective of cutting a C$509 million EBITDA loss from the March quarter into positive EBITDA in the September quarter. Curaleaf simply printed a March quarter with a $200 million EBITDA earnings while Trulieve Marijuana produced an outstanding $494 million EBITDA profit
The extreme distinctions in the profit photos prefer the MSOs after the rally in Aurora Cannabis. The Canadian marijuana company is enhancing, but the marketplace has actually become too bullish on the turn-around and the relocation into the competitive U.S. CBD sector.
The essential financier takeaway is that Aurora Cannabis is making smarter business relocations in 2020, but the stock tripling off the bottom pleads for a pullback. The stock is pricey relative to other cannabis stocks over $17 here.
Investors wishing to play the turn-around in Aurora Cannabis need to wait on a dip back to $10 where better worth will emerge and the risks reflect the problem of the Canadian cannabis company accomplishing EBITDA positive numbers.
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Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks pointed out, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I composed this post myself, and it reveals my own viewpoints. I am not getting settlement for it (aside from Seeking Alpha). I have no organisation relationship with any business whose stock is mentioned in this article.
Before purchasing or offering any stock you need to do your own research study and reach your own conclusion or consult a financial advisor.
“Cannabis Treats COVID-19” Rallied Weed Stocks. Cannabis Could Aid Pandemic—If Someone Pays To Find Out.
Already down when the coronavirus pandemic kicked all markets, a few cannabis stocks enjoyed rallies Friday — gains connected, it would seem, to the coronavirus pandemic.
Colorado’s CBD giant Charlotte’s Web, named for pediatric cannabis patient Charlotte Figi, who died last month of complications from the coronavirus, was up 24 percent on the Toronto Stock Exchange. But the big gain was on NASDAQ, where shares in Canadian firm Sundial spiked 50 percent—a jump, to $0.83 a share, that’s nothing close to wiping out last year’s losses, but nonetheless a very big rally in context.
And a rally “vaguely” timed, as MarketWatch reporter Max Cherney observed, with the New York Post’s publication Thursday of its take on the big story that had gone viral on Facebook earlier that month, and was later flagged as fake news: the claim, first made in a preclinical paper published in April, by Canadian scientists that certain high CBD strains of “cannabis could prevent and treat coronavirus.”
Cannabis and COVID together strikes a nerve, already: since the beginning of the pandemic, unscrupulous cannabis companies have been claiming, without any data, that their products might manage COVID symptoms or even act as a preventative. But this wasn’t that, as researchers at the University of Lethbridge explained in interviews with the Calgary Herald and CTV, recycled by the Post.
In experiments with 3D human cell cultures mimicking various diseases, certain high CBD cannabis strains—developed by the researchers labs, in no relation to the cannabis available in legal and recreational markets in Canada or the US—demonstrated abilities to shut down coronavirus’s favorite “pathway: a receptor called ACE2.
Rife in lung cells but also present in the mouth and gut, ACE2 regulates the virus’s ability to enter cells and replicate. One of the Lethbridge CBD strains downregulated the ACE2 receptor in certain 3D cells by as much as 73 percent, according to Lethbridge biological scientist and study lead author Igor Kovalchuk. This is a reason why the ACE2 receptor, and turning it off, is the target of pharmaceutical interventions like experimental novel coronavirus vaccines—and this is why a consumer product that contains one of the Lethbridge-grown cannabis strains might be a useful supplemental therapy for COVID-19 patients. Perhaps in a mouthwash, the preclinical paper suggested.
None of this means cannabis is a COVID-19 cure, or a COVID-19 prevention—just, maybe, a COVID-19 treatment. That didn’t stop certain media outlets, including one weed publication called out by name by The Poynter Institute’s Politifact in a May 18 item, from running items “overstating” the Lethbridge scientists’ findings, as Kovalcuk himself admitted. But the Post got it right.
“It reduces the possibility to get infected. I never said it would prevent or block it entirely,” he said in a telephone interview over the weekend.
“It is a possible treatment,” he added. ‘A treatment is not a cure. When [news reports] say it treats COVID, or can potentially treat COVID, they are absolutely right.”
For Kovalchuk’s research team, the coronavirus pandemic struck at an auspicious time. Kovalchuk runs a company called Pathway Rx. Pathway is a Sundial subsidiary—a fact not mentioned in the Post—and earlier this year, after the company’s fortunes had plummeted from summertime trading of $12 a share to this winter’s sub-$1 nadir, his team’s research was close to getting shut down for lack of money.
When COVID appeared, “I thought, well, it’s a virus, it’s inflammation, there must be something cannabis does,” Kovalchuk recalled. So his team dived back into the models. And since COVID-19 attacks the ACE2 receptor, a receptor his strains seem to block, “the rest is history.”
As for the temporary market gains, “I don’t really care,” Kovalchuk insisted. “I want this to be brought to people. And that can only be done once a clinical trial is done.”
The trick now is to convince an investor—be it a cannabis company or anyone else—to pay for study that involves humans. This will require even more money.
For around $700,000 US, Kovalchuk believes he could enroll several hundred human volunteers — COVID-19 patients willing to supplement their doctor-prescribed regimen with a Pathway Rx cannabis product, to see if their recoveries were quicker or their symptoms less severe than a control group’s. If hospitalization stays, length of illness, and other indicators among the experimental group dropped by 20 percent compared to control, more study and a larger cohort would be required. If it were 50 percent—then maybe we’d have an accepted additional therapy.
For now, the main takeaway is that “cannabis,” meaning the stash in your jar, or the stash available at the dispensary, or the CBD oil flogged online, isn’t going to do anything. Pressed for details about terpene notes or full cannabinoind spectrum information about his special strains, Kovalchuk stayed mum. But he did emphasize that it’s very likely the full spectrum of terpenes and cannabinoids, not just the high-CBD/low-THC ratio, that’s finding success inhibiting the ACE2 receptor favored by the coronavirus.
“It’s very important that it’s not just generic CBD,” he added. “You just can’t go anywhere and get CBD [that will work on COVID-19]. That’s why we’re afraid of people just rushing out to start buying it.”
Which, apparently, people have done—and not just CBD, but CBD stocks, too.
So you think the cannabis sector has seen its worst? That there’s no coming back? Well, here’s a twist: The COVID-19 pandemic may have dragged down most sectors, but it is lifting up cannabis stocks for sure. Marijuana sales skyrocketed in April in the middle of the pandemic, pressing business’ profits higher. Many cannabis organisations reported great revenue numbers this quarter. One, in specific, seems to have actually risen from the dead.
A phoenix from the ashes
Edmonton, Alberta-based Aurora Cannabis( NYSE: ACB) saw strong demand after Canada legislated leisure marijuana in2018 The company increase its production centers, paying little attention to its rising financial obligation. External factors including black-market sales and a sluggish rollout of stores post-legalization made it harder for the business to earn a profit; eventually, financiers lost trust, and the stock kept sinking below $1– to the point that it was at threat of being delisted from the New York Stock Exchange.
Image Source: Getty Images.
In May, nevertheless, Aurora seems to have risen from the dead. To save its stock and reinforce its money position, it combined its shares in a 1-for-12 reverse stock split. Remarkably, its third-quarter outcomes were a hit. The company tape-recorded year-over-year income growth of 16%, to 75.5 million Canadian dollars. It likewise reported consecutive quarterly sales growth of 35%.
Its Q3 customer marijuana earnings was up 24%sequentially to CA$415 million; that included its Daily Unique brand, introduced in February, and a few of the cannabis 2.0 products, introduced in December.
Despite a good quarter, it’s wise to be hesitant. Q3 results can’t conceal the truth that in spite of increasing earnings, Aurora reported negative EBITDA (earnings prior to interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) of CA$508 million in Q3. Selling, general, and administrative (SG&A) costs in the 3rd quarter was available in at CA$75 million. Management ensured financiers that Aurora is working to reduce SG&A and hit favorable EBITDA by Q1 2021, however experts remain doubtful
Making it more exciting: A tactical acquisition in the U.S. CBD market
Aurora Marijuana is marking its entry into the U.S. cannabidiol (CBD) market with the acquisition of hemp-derived CBD business Reliva. The deal will leave Reliva’s investors with $40 million worth of Aurora’s shares, which number might rise to $45 million over the next 2 years if Reliva attains certain financial targets. The transaction will close by June.
What worries me is that Aurora may be reliving its previous errors. Don’t get me incorrect; the U.S. CBD market is an increasing star.
That stated, striking a handle a business that has no financial obligation and a strong market position in the U.S.– Reliva boasts 20,000 stores– might show to be a wise move. Reliva likewise generated positive EBITDA over the past 12 months, ending in March. Reliva’s U.S. management group will become part of Aurora, which might just help the latter company, considered that its present leadership team has shown questionable.
Recently, Canopy Development( NYSE: CGC) also revealed the launch of its next batch of cannabis 2.0 products– cannabis-infused beverages, chocolates, and vapes. Canopy Growth, in addition to its partner, Constellation Brands ( NYSE: STZ), anticipates to record a new series of clients with its ingenious products.
Accomplishing profitability is what matters
Shares of Aurora and Canopy are up 106%and 16%, respectively, so far in May, while the SPDR S&P 500 ETF( NYSEMKT: SPY) has declined by 4.1%.
The stock volatility could drag on with the market uncertainty around the pandemic. What matters to marijuana financiers is whether Aurora can sustain its pledges, manage to decrease expenses, and hit success within the mentioned amount of time. Aurora’s entry into the U.S. CBD area and its innovative cannabis 2.0 items present a great opportunity for the company to recover in 2020.
Sushree Mohanty has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Constellation Brands. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.”>
The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Constellation Brands.
The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy“>
On May 20, Charlotte’s Web, the Colorado-based CBD giant and arguably one of the biggest names in legal cannabis, announced that the company was awarded its second federal patent on a cannabis plant.
Unlike the company’s 2018 plant patent on a Farm Bill-compliant high-CBD hemp cultivar—which was the first hemp strain to receive federal intellectual property protection—US Patent No. 10,653,085 is a utility patent.
This means, after satisfying a more rigorous process, including dropping off thousands of seeds at an official United States depository, Charlotte’s Web now claims as its intellectual property both the cultivar of hemp the company calls CW1AS1 as well as “methods” of plant production and cannabinoid extraction.
Okay! But so what? Why patent a hemp strain—why patent two? What does it all mean? Does Charlotte’s Web now have legal claim to the entire CBD game?
To the last question, no. And as for what this means, for normal people and cannabis consumers, very little. For patent attorneys or competitors of Charlotte’s Web in the CBD industry, it portends a little more, but just a little.
At least for now, cannabis patents like this one aren’t really intended to defend intellectual property in court—which is where a patent has its most practical value.
No, this patent is probably meant for the market. Patents like this exist mostly for companies to satisfy and woo investors, for whom a company’s ability to say “Look! I have a patent” might be the difference between signing a check, or not. And like all publicly traded cannabis companies, Charlotte’s Web has a lot of spooked and angry investors who need pleasing.
Patents “generate interest in the company, and are something investors would look at,” said Jonathan Hyman, a patent attorney and partner at the Los Angeles office of Knobbe Martens.
Whether Charlotte’s Web would enforce the patent, and how, “remains to be seen,” he added.
Company officials were not available to discuss the matter. In a statement provided by Sylvia Tawse, the company’s director of communications, CEO Deanie Elsner said Charlotte’ Web “will continue to pursue patent protection for unique and novel hemp genetics developed by our horticulture division.” Whether that meant there are any pretenders the company plans to sue, she did not say.
Though cannabis-related patent applications have been a thing since well before legalization and have tripled since 2015, as IP Watchdog noted, the mere phrase “cannabis patent” can still be triggering in cannabis circles. Patent talk can often lead to galaxy-brain thinking like the “Monsanto is supporting legalization in order to steal cannabis” or the “Philip Morris is buying up land in Humboldt County” conspiracy theories.
In the case of Charlotte’s Web, the company’s already locked up what’s probably its most valuable asset: its name. Charlotte’s Web is named for Charlotte Figi, the sufferer of childhood epilepsy who enjoyed relief from her symptoms after taking an extract of high-CBD cannabis grown by the Stanley brothers (and who died earlier this month after contracting COVID-19).
The world came to know Charlotte Figi and the Stanley brothers, seven photogenic Coloradans whose first names all begin with J, after they were prominently featured in a 2014 CNN special hosted by Sanjay Gupta. A very famous children’s book and a very famous and recognizable name, the company was sure lock down the name “Charlotte’s Web” with a trademark—one the company is currently defending in federal court, after a rival company dared market CBD products called Charlotte’s Web.
That’s what patents are for in terms of the law. But markets are another matter—and it’s worth observing that the company went public after securing its first patent.
Like almost all publicly traded companies in the cannabis sector, Charlotte’s Web is stuck in high-loss doldrums after hitting early peaks.
For the past week, shares in Charlotte’s Web have been trading in the $7 to $9 range in the Toronto Stock Exchange. That’s a big gain from the $4.24 seen at the company’s mid-March nadir, but still far below last summer’s high-water mark of $28.21, set in August.
Despite being sold in more than 11,000 stores, the company still lost $1.7 million in 2020—a hit smaller than other companies in the cannabis sector, but still in the red.
Patenting hemp genetics and the processes to achieve them won’t be enough to rescue the rest of the company’s lost value. But if Charlotte’s Web wants to be a global CBD brand, with product in supermarkets and convenience stores all over the globe—and why wouldn’t it?—this means something.
“Having this patent, that they can wave around and say, ‘Hey, we’ve got coverage on it, and it’s the best variety [of CBD rich hemp] that you’re going to get,’ ” said Andrew Merickel, who holds a Phd in neuroscience and is also an attorney and partner at the San Francisco office of Knobbe Martens. “That’s pretty valuable.”
How valuable? That’s all up to the logic of the market.
On a typical Saturday, at 4: 30 am, Boulder, Colorado-based competitive ultramarathoner Flavie Dokken takes 5mg of Wana Recreational Tarts, puts on her running shoes, and heads out for a five-hour run. But Dokken is not your typical stoner, she uses cannabis as part of her workout routine and she is sponsored by Wana Brands, a cannabis company that produces cannabis-infused products. Dokken told Vice that the gummies help her tune into her breathing. Although Dokken uses THC (tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive element of cannabis) during training, she stops using it a week before race day because of drug testing.
“Active lifestyle” might not be a set of words commonly associated with cannabis use. But cannabis companies are trying to change that by sponsoring athletes and athletic teams, getting them to post photos of products on their Instagram grids or put brand stickers on their athletic equipment, in order to gain visibility with the athletes’ fans.
Brands like Nike, Saucony, and New Balance, synonymous with the running industry, do not allow their athletes to be associated with cannabis. But that doesn’t mean they never partake. Dokken said she knows of a handful who do. Not only are they secretive about their use, but they also avoid affiliating with her for fear of guilt by association. She said that these athletes, “won’t follow me on Instagram,” but she also states that when she wears her Wana gear on the trails in Colorado, “people give me a high-five, which is awesome.”
Even as big brands don’t want to talk about cannabis use, it is increasingly officially sanctioned for competitive professional and amateur athletes: In 2018, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Code removed CBD from their list of banned substances, and allows an athlete to have THC in their system during a random out-of-competition drug test. But THC is still a prohibited substance for post-race or in-competition drug tests; this all means athletes are fine to use cannabis during the off-season and even during training, but cannot compete with the drug in their system.
In 2018, Canada legalized marijuana with the Cannabis Act, which prohibits athletes from being sponsored by cannabis companies. Canadian MMA fighter Elias Theodorou is trying to change that. He uses cannabis for pain management for bilateral neuropathy in his upper extremities (chronic pain in his wrists, elbows, upper neck, and spine). “Doctor prescribed cannabis is the best medical option to manage my pain,” he told VICE. “Traditional, first-line medications like pain killers, opioids, and NSAIDs have all had detrimental side-effects to my body as both a patient and athlete.”
Theodorou, who has been sponsored by Pert Plus, Mattel, and Coors Light, explained, “This fight is not only about working with cannabis companies, but also the need to knock down the barriers and negative perception other companies may have with cannabis.”
Mendi, a CBD startup company, has “athlete ambassadors” who help promote their products, including soccer player and Women’s World Cup winner Megan Rapinoe, and her girlfriend, WNBA player Sue Bird. The athlete ambassadors receive Mendi products to promote on their social channels and attend Mendi events. The company was founded by Rapinoe’s twin sister, Rachael, who is also a former pro soccer player. Although CBD is banned in the WNBA, Bird uses it in her off-season. She told New York Magazine, “It’s great for recovery and it relaxes me. I usually take it at night so I can sleep, which helps with recovery, and have had amazing results.”
While the use of cannabis might seem diametrically opposed to what an athlete values—inaction versus action—calm, relaxation, and rest are integral to athletes’ overall success and well-being. But athletes don’t even limit use to off-hours in our modern times: In 2019, The University of Colorado Boulder released a study on over 600 runners with legalized cannabis that found 80 percent of cannabis users mixed workouts with cannabis use. Although cannabis is not a performance-enhancing drug, Dr. Rosemary Mazanet, Chief Scientific Officer of Columbia Care, claimed to VICE it can help diminish performance anxiety. “You’re able to be more in the moment and have more fun, to be more limber, to be more flexible,” said Manazet.
Pulmonologist Vandana A. Patel stressed to VICE via email that smoking cannabis can negatively impact an athlete’s performance. “Inhaling cannabis can cause structural lung injuries, like building air pockets in the lung which can rupture under increased physical stress.” Because of this, many athletes, like Dokken, stick to edibles.
The owners of the Oregon-based dispensary Tokyo Starfish all previously worked in the snowboarding industry before they transitioned into opening a dispensary. Tokyo Starfish-sponsored professional snowboarder, Max Warbington explained that the dispensary focuses on the lifestyle aspect of snowboarding rather than the performance aspect.
Tokyo Starfish-sponsored snowboarder Nora Beck told VICE that she uses cannabis during snowboarding when she needs to relax. She explains, “It’s like you’re on hyperdrive and you just need to turn the volume down a little bit.”
“Tokyo Starfish is actually invested in snowboarding and they understand that I’m out there doing my job as a pro snowboarder and just the fact that I have the Tokyo sticker that’s like a total bonus for them,” Warbington said. As a pro snowboarder sponsored by Tokyo Starfish, Warbington sends the company videos and photos throughout the winter. He also wears their T-shirts and hoodies and markets them to snowboarding fans on his social media.
When asked whether he feels like there’s a stigma as an athlete sponsored by a cannabis company, he replied, “I think they’re probably always will be [a stigma] just the same as there’s a stigma with alcohol because it’s a substance that people abuse.”
In a phone interview with VICE, Warbington said he is particularly conscious of his image. “I definitely don’t want to push it [cannabis] on the youth and that’s why I always like to preach that.” He does not allow Tokyo Starfish to post images on their social media of him smoking pot, though Warbington sometimes posts a picture of a joint in his personal Instagram stories. He said, “I always second-guess it every time because of my influence.”
Brands like Tokyo Starfish and Wana are trying to combat negative associations with cannabis. They want the public to affiliate the recreational drug with an active lifestyle. Warbington said it’s really important to him that people know he and his Tokyo Starfish teammates do not personify the “lazy stoner” stereotype. Far from it. “We’re out here smoking weed,” he said. “We’re the first person up [on the slopes in the morning] and the last one to leave the mountain.”
Warren Bobrow=WB: Please tell me where you are from? Where are you now? What did you want to be when you (grew) up? Do you have a mentor? Who is that?
Justin Johnson=JJ: I grew up in Washington state, spending most of my youth in Spokane, which is pretty rural, a lot closer to Idaho and Montana than Seattle.
Obsessed with TV commercials from an early age, I attended Washington State University with the goal of becoming a creative director at a New York ad agency. That was the dream. I excelled academically in high school and at the next level, but college is where I also began to develop a deeper appreciation for cannabis, which I used regularly to manage anxiety from undiagnosed Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
After graduating top of my class, I assumed no agency could resist me and attempted a move to New York with my best friend to pursue the dream. It resulted in a week of commuting between Manhattan and Dobbs Ferry, where we slept head to toe on a mattress in a hallway, just to interview for jobs with salaries below the poverty line. Dejected, we both agreed the New York dream would have to come later in life.
I ultimately ended up in Seattle, where I landed a job at WONGDOODY, a highly decorated creative agency I idolized in college. While my goal was always to be a “creative,” my mix of writing ability, strategic thinking, and digital savvy got me quickly recognized by Michael Hoffman, our head of business development and one of my earliest mentors.
In a previous life, Michael was responsible for the launch of a little sneaker called the Air Jordan 1 with then rookie Michael Jordan and a relatively unknown Spike Lee. Michael Hoffman himself didn’t stand much taller than 5 feet, but he was a giant to me. He passed away last year, but I was pretty lucky to have him as a boss and role model. He set the foundation for much of my professional success, teaching me how to lead with passion, empathy, and a commitment to excellence. He also taught that mentorship was a two way road, and that I had a lot to offer.
Within a couple years under Michael I was promoted to manage business development for our office in Los Angeles, where my appreciation for cannabis blossomed, and social media started to wreak havoc on the traditional agency model. As TV ad budgets dried up in 2008, my role changed from pursuing new business to building expertise in new services like web analytics, search engine optimization, social content creation, and early iterations of Facebook and Google advertising that dominate budgets today.
I ultimately left WONGDOODY in 2011 to join Lunchbox, where I’d oversee online entertainment initiatives between Walmart and Unilever, ranging from branded music videos with Slash to interviews with Kevin Hart about his new comedy special. This experience in music and film ultimately landed me back to New York, where I would lead social strategy for American Express’ branded entertainment initiatives at Digitas starting in 2012. I’ve been in New York ever since, also spending four years leading business development at Engine Group (formerly Deep Focus) and three years leading marketing at tech startup Bublup, before venturing out on my own.
Today I spend my days building BudsFeed, advocating for the rights of cannabis consumers, and consulting brands and startups. My wife and I call Brooklyn home, but started investing in upstate AirBnB’s about three years ago. We just finished remodeling a cabin in Wassaic, NY at the beginning of 2020 and have been living up here ever since the virus hit.
WB: Please tell me about your business? What is your six and twelve-month goal? What obstacles stand in your way? How do you anticipate removing them?
JJ: BudsFeed.com is a website that surfaces the best new cannabis related products through the power of community. It’s a place for cannabis enthusiasts and entrepreneurs to share and geek out over the latest products, services, and content created for the cannabis community. Any person or brand can sign up for BudsFeed and “seed” something they love, or something they actually created.
Every Monday we celebrate the “Top 5 Seeds,” based on community upvotes, featuring those products across our site, newsletter, and social content. We also work with brands on more substantial content collaborations, including blog posts, original animations, product demo videos, and features in our original web series, “Buds Unboxing.”
We spent late 2019 and early 2020 focused on listening to early users, tweaking the experience, and building features that encouraged engagement. We also focused on building a brand that is informative, fun, and creates highly shareable content across platforms. Everything we create and share is inspired by things users seed on BudsFeed – the community is the heartbeat of the business.
In the next 6 months, it’s all about growth and continued improvement in the BudsFeed user experience. While our consumer audience continues to grow organically every day, we hope to get more brands participating in the community and sharing new product drops. We believe that industry pioneers have always been at the forefront of cannabis culture, and that is no different today. Whether we’re talking about flower, glass, or even industrial distillation equipment, brands are driving innovation in the cannabis industry.
12 months from now, I hope that BudsFeed will be part of every cannabis-related brand’s product launch strategy.
The biggest obstacle for BudsFeed right now is awareness, but that is something you can only change with a good strategy and time or money. As a bootstrapped startup, especially one in cannabis, spending money is not the smartest path to awareness. It just takes time, education, and consistent execution of the little things that make people enjoy their experience with the platform. We’ll continue to get through obstacles like we have over the last year–keeping our head down, our ears open, and working hard.
WB: What about stigmas? Do you run into them with traditional business channels? How do you choose your clients? Do you enjoy cannabis? CBD? Entourage Effect?
JJ: I’ve consumed cannabis almost daily since I was 18-years-old, with a few length breaks in between. I’m historically a flower guy, although I enjoy the convenience vape pens, and have grown a whole new appreciation for edibles since jumping into the industry. As someone who enjoys the highs of THC products, I’m not a huge consumer of CBD, but I do find it works wonders topically for things like inflammation. If you find yourself too high, a nice tincture can also help bring you back to earth.
Having spent more than a decade at advertising agencies in Seattle, Los Angeles, and New York, I’ve surrounded myself with a lot of like-minded people when it comes to cannabis. Not surprisingly, I felt supported in my move into the cannabis industry by most. Some people have become exponentially more interested in what I’m doing. Others have grown more distant, feeling uncomfortable having a public association with the cannabis industry, but I believe the stigma is fading fast. It was definitely something I considered for a long time.
One of the biggest challenges I’ve encountered as a cannabis adjacent business–and I’m not alone–is a lack of quality paid advertising channels available. While I used to count Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and other platforms as official partners of my agency, most make it near impossible to get cannabis-related ads approved. These platforms are missing out on hundreds of millions of advertising dollars each year due to blanket policies based on U.S. federal law, and it’s unfortunate for both sides. Even 100% legal CBD brands struggle to effectively advertise.
What it comes down to is a lack of education at the highest levels. Business leaders and politicians shaping policy need to spend time learning about the history of cannabis, why it’s illegal, the damage prohibition has done, and its broad potential if we could just research it legally. At minimum they should know the difference between hemp and marijuana. Mainstreaming of CBD and state level legalization has done a lot to reduce the stigma of cannabis overall, but many policymakers are still decades behind, concerned more about their reputation than anything.
We hope BudsFeed can do its part to end the stigma and help cannabis related brands build awareness, even when other social platforms won’t.
WB: Do you cook? What is your favorite thing to prepare? Do you have a food memory from childhood that you’d like to share? Favorite restaurant? Where?
JJ: I really enjoy cooking and spent most of my teenage years working in restaurants, where I learned enough to be dangerous in the kitchen.
My favorite thing to cook is brunch. You can’t go wrong with some bacon, over easy eggs, hash browns, and maybe some biscuits or pancakes. I feel like breakfast food is universally delicious and something I can make in mass for friends and family. This is something I definitely picked up from my dad. While mom would command the kitchen at dinner, dad took pride in whipping up a good breakfast on the weekends.
While I like cooking, I’d almost always prefer to dine out. Having spent more than a decade wining and dining advertising clients around the country, I’ve had the opportunity to visit a lot of amazing restaurants and hope I’ll have a chance to return when the pandemic is over. Sometimes I find myself dreaming of the seafood risotto from Noodle Pudding, a very small, unassuming Italian restaurant in Brooklyn Heights. It is, without a doubt in my mind, the best Italian food in New York and probably my favorite restaurant.
WB: What is your passion?
JJ: I’ve always been obsessed with creating experiences that connect people, especially online.
Dating back to my childhood, long before Giphy, I was always creating animated GIF sites that I would share with other kids in chat rooms. Even into my mid 20’s I was obsessed with platforms like Tumblr that allowed me to create meme blogs that could garner a reaction from thousands of people overnight.
Professionally I turned this passion and curiosity into creating digital entertainment experiences for big brands, and was part of a lot of firsts in social media marketing. I learned a lot about building a brand in the digital age from these experiences, and even more about the intersection of community, content, and technology working with the likes of Facebook and YouTube.
Today I apply that passion and all of my learnings into building BudsFeed, a place I hope everyone can feel welcome connecting over a mutual appreciation for cannabis-related products, services, and content.
For many years, there was no hotter financial investment on the planet than marijuana stocks With Canada legalizing recreational marijuana in 2018 and 10s of billions of dollars in sales being conducted every year in the black market worldwide, the door seemed broad open for North American licensed manufacturers to seize this chance and provide the green for financiers.
However over the past 13- plus months, financiers have actually only seen a sea of red. Regulatory-based supply issues in Canada, stubbornly high tax rates in the U.S., and funding concerns throughout North America have haunted the market and sent out pot stock assessments tumbling
Image source: Getty Images.
Millennials’ preferred pot stock has actually been an eyesore
Arguably the most significant disappointment of all has actually been Aurora Marijuana( NYSE: ACB)
Aurora had likewise employed billionaire activist investor Nelson Peltz as a strategic advisor in March2019 Peltz’s location of know-how takes place to be the food and beverage market, making him the ideal intermediary to work out a possible partnership or equity financial investment in between Aurora and a brand-name business.
Regrettably, little has actually gone Aurora’s way over the previous year and change. It’s suspended construction at two of its largest projects and offered another large greenhouse, efficiently paring down its peak production capacity for the time being by at least 400,000 kilos a year. This was essential to decrease its operating expense, along with align production to more accurately match need.
What’s more, Aurora’s global sales have actually been particularly dismaying for shareholders. In spite of its noteworthy international presence, Aurora managed a weak $4 million Canadian in abroad sales throughout the fiscal 3rd quarter (ended March 31, 2020) and had not yet outlined its method to enter the potentially lucrative U.S. market– that is, until now.
Image source: Getty Images.
Aurora announces its method to go into the U.S.
Following the closing bell on Wednesday, May 20, Aurora announced that it would obtain privately held hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) products company Reliva in an all-stock offer valued at $40 million (that’s U.S.). CBD is the nonpsychoactive cannabinoid best-known for its perceived medical advantages.
As a tip, cannabis isn’t federally legal in the United States. This means New York Stock Exchange-listed or Nasdaq– noted companies would run the risk of delisting by operating in the U.S. pot market. The Farm Bill, which was signed into law by President Trump in December 2018, provided the green light for the industrial production of hemp and hemp-derived CBD. Hence, Canadian certified manufacturers do have the ability to get in the U.S. CBD industry without breaching any federal laws. That’s important, since it enables Canadian certified manufacturers to develop infrastructure on U.S. soil and create partnerships that might become fruitful if and when the U.S. federal government legalizes cannabis.
According to Aurora’s press release, the real appeal of this offer is that Reliva has actually created favorable adjusted profits before interested, taxes, devaluation, and amortization ( EBITDA ) over the tracking 12- month period. This makes the offer, which anticipated to close in June, accretive to both its financial 2020 and fiscal 2021 changed EBITDA. As you might recall, Aurora is needed to produce favorable adjusted EBITDA by the end of the financial very first quarter of 2021 (ended Sept. 30, 2020) as part of its new debt covenant. Reliva must help press Aurora in the best instructions.
According to the release, Reliva ranked No. 2 in general CBD market share, with product availability in over 20,000 retail places (which includes e-commerce). Reliva also has contracts with 40%of the top-20 nationwide convenience-store chains.
Assuming particular financial targets are struck over the next two years, Reliva stakeholders can make as much as an extra $45 million in payments, which is payable in money or common stock.
Image source: Getty Images.
Do not break out the champagne right now
At the time of this writing, Aurora Cannabis’ shareholders were beyond thrilled with this long-awaited relocation into the United States.
First Of All, Aurora has an actually bad track record when it comes to acquisitions. Let’s not forget that the CA$ 2.64 billion all-stock MedReleaf deal eventually got the business 35,000 kilos of yearly production and a handful of unique brand names. The crown gem of the offer– the Exeter greenhouse– was sold off this previous week for only half of the business’s asking price. In my view, the large majority of this deal will require to be made a note of
Second Of All, Aurora is, as soon as again, leaning on its common stock as a financing tool when purchasing. With the exception of the CanniMed offer, Aurora has practically solely count on growing its reach by providing stock and diluting its long-lasting shareholders. Inclusive of its reverse split, the business’s exceptional share count has actually swollen from 1.3 million in June 2014 to more than 109 million today. The all-stock Reliva offer could add anywhere from 2%to 5%to the company’s exceptional share count, while a $350 million at-the-market offering has the prospective to increase the business’s outstanding share total by another 20%to 25%.
3rd, you should comprehend that the U.S. CBD market hasn’t delivered the jaw-dropping growth that was anticipated.
Logistically, going into the U.S. CBD makes total sense for Aurora Marijuana. The question its investors are constantly left questioning is, at what expense to them?
Sean Williams has no position in any of the stocks discussed. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy“>
Welcome back to Cultivated, our weekly newsletter where we’re bringing you an inside take a look at the deals, patterns, and characters driving the multibillion-dollar international cannabis boom.
Welcome back to Cultivated, everybody!
For those of you who aren’t as online as me and most likely missed out on all of my social media posts, I spent the last two months covering New York state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic as it rapidly drew up all the oxygen in the media– and our day-to-day lives.
I have actually been playing lots of catch up with many of my sources this week and I’m sure there are lots of stories I have actually missed over the past two months.
I likewise participated in a Zoom panel with some top-tier cannabis press reporters and PRs about opening up a better line of interaction between publicists and the media.
Drop me a line if you have an idea of what I must be covering or who I need to be talking to. You can find my contact details below. We have great deals of excellent stories coming next week.
Here’s what we wrote about:
The vehicle DraftKings used to go public has caught the eye of marijuana investors, who have poured nearly $3 billion into ‘blank check’ money
Investors targeting the marijuana industry are relying on special purpose acquisition business, or SPACs, to ferret out marijuana offers.
Many standard investors, like pension-backed venture capital or private-equity companies, are reticent to invest the industry since cannabis is federally illegal in the US.
Investors have put $2.8 billion into cannabis-focused SPACs because the start of2019 The entire SPAC market over that time raised approximately $175 billion.
Fulfill the top 9 startups raising millions to utilize psychedelics to deal with depression, stress and anxiety, and more
Financial investment in psychedelics has ramped up over the last few years and companies state that interest from conventional biotech and pharma investors has actually picked up too.
Secret financiers, like former Canopy Growth CEO Bruce Linton, hail from the cannabis sector. Others, like PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel have actually been interested in the industry for several years now.
We identified the leading 9 business that are working to turn psychedelics into authorized medications, for conditions like depression and anxiety.
- California marijuana producer CannaCraft has included three brand-new board members: Leon Sharyon, Mason Garrity, and Gareth Clark. Sharyon, significantly, was the longtime CFO of Lagunitas Brewing.
- Champignon Brands, a startup developing ketamine and psychedelic treatments, revealed a $10 million private positioning with Canaccord Genuity and Eight Capital, two of the Canadian midsize investment banks that led cannabis capital markets from the start. View this space.
- 4Front Ventures, a marijuana business that has actually recently contended with executive churn and layoffs, found a lifeline: a $5.8 million private positioning from cannabis mutual fund Navy Capital, and a property sale to Ethos Capital. Earlier in May, 4Front sold off $18 million in possessions.
- Aurora Cannabis finally made its entryway into the US CBD market with the $40 million, all-stock purchase of Reliva LLC announced on Wednesday
- Materia Ventures gotten 100% of German medical cannabis business Cannaktiv GmbH.
This one comes from Cowen’s marijuana expert, Vivien Azer, in her US marijuana deep dive, citing information from the Center for Responsive Politics.
As you can see, cannabis business spend slightly more proportionally than their “vice industry” peers on lobbying state and federal governments. In overall, nevertheless, marijuana lobbying pales in contrast to alcohol and tobacco lobbying.
Cannabis business spent $5.3 million on lobbying in 2019, compared to near $30 million for tobacco and alcohol in2019
Health startup Present Life launches Healist Advanced Naturals, a clinically supported CBD range, with a cut-through brand name strategy that weds science and nature by Robotic Food. Since constraints on making use of cannabidiol (the non-intoxicating element of marijuana) were raised in Europe and North America, the CBD wellness sector has actually exploded. Experts are now forecasting that the international market will surpass ₤72 billion by 2026– and sales of CBD-based items in the retail sector will be a major chauffeur of that growth. As a result, the market is ending up being progressively congested and baffled, with a proliferation of balms, oils, and casts in varying portion strengths, assuring to remedy any number of health issues. Present Life wished to produce a line of product that made the most of this sector development, but in such a way that alters the story around CBD items, gets rid of confusion, shows stability, and makes the health advantages crystal clear to the consumer. Robotic Food was approached to drill down and define the opportunity, and after that design a strategic reaction to place Healist as a benefit-focused flagship brand with multichannel selling in mind. The resulting work has actually enabled Healist to cut through all the white noise. Customers are reassured of the top quality nature of the products, and have the ability to browse the range quickly to find the best version for their requirements. “A shift in policies and customer frame of mind have sustained a sharp development in the CBD classification, so we needed to develop a brand name with distinct cut-through. It was essential to get rid of the common barriers related to CBD products, construct trust and make it mainstream,” says Simon Forster, executive innovative director and creator of Robot Food. An essential part of the strategy was to demonstrate the benefits to be found where modern science and botanical know-how fulfill, and demonstrate how that marriage can help customers gain back balance and ‘reclaim their 100%’. To that end, the combination message is evident at every touchpoint on the consumer journey. The bespoke product packaging format makes a real virtue of the science and nature story and focuses on the effectiveness of the ingredients. A lab-white ‘science’ sleeve with a diecut ‘H’ is removed to reveal the ‘nature’ layer, featuring botanical illustrations that display active components, with 4 colourways so consumers can rapidly separate the four primary benefits (calm, sleep, wellness, relief). “The ‘H’ marque records Healist’s spirit. One pillar represents science, the other nature, while a main dot signs up with the two and is symbolic of balance,” states Steph Oglesby, design director at Robot Food. Robotic Food has actually produced a brand world and tone of voice to support the USP and influence trust, with messaging that includes hero declarations like: “Ground-breaking science. It remains in our nature” and “Powerful natural ingredients. Down to a science.” From product packaging right through to the brand name interaction strategy, scientific cues, including annotation lines and botanical illustrations, produce a structure that enhances the power of nature when mixed with a clinical technique. “We’ve developed and launched our own brands at Robot Food, so we had the ability to determine the more comprehensive opportunity within the market,” states Forster. “A lot of CBD brand names focus their approach on the portion of CBD oil, or line up to a specific way of life. With Healist, we positioned the customer initially, creating benefit-led services presented in a brand architecture that bridges science and wellbeing.” Michael Bryce, co-founder and worldwide chief marketing officer, Healist, says: “Working with Robot Food helped us clarify and totally realise our distinct market position. As a firm, the team at Robot Food constantly has front of mind business viability along with strong, interesting style. The brand technique can flex and grow as we do too.” Part of a continuous relationship with Present Life, Robot Food will continue to support Healist with digital material development, and serve as brand name guardians. Introduced online in March, Healist plans to burglarize mainstream retailers in the US, followed by the European market based on the modifications to CBD regulations.
The courtship between Aurora Cannabis Inc. and Reliva began, as many such romances do, at a gathering of industry bigwigs and bankers.
It was not quite love at first sight.
Well ahead of the first meeting at a 2019 conference run by an investment bank, Aurora
had been shopping for a way to enter the U.S. market for some time, saying so publicly on earnings calls and in interviews with MarketWatch. But it took Aurora months to seriously vet Reliva as an acquisition target, the chief executives at both companies told MarketWatch in a telephone interview this week.
Months after that first meeting, Aurora’s executive team flew to Boston and met with Reliva, a company that specializes in cannabidiol, or CBD. For 48 hours, bosses from Aurora and Reliva visited wholesale and bricks-and-mortar stores and talked about the business, with Aurora interim CEO Michael Singer telling MarketWatch they learned enough in those two days to begin seriously evaluating Reliva.
“We learned a lot about Miguel [Martin] and a lot about the Reliva story, and he got to learn about the Aurora corporate story,” Singer said in a telephone interview. “When we think about [Aurora’s] reset plan, we think this was a responsible and strategic acquisition. It’s not just about the U.S.”
Aurora’s lawyers worked furiously to vet Reliva, checking out its operations, staff and intellectual property, though Singer says there was not much IP to consider. Reliva CEO Miguel Martin and other top staff visited Aurora’s board in Toronto — at a time when that was still possible — and several “long and thoughtful conversations” occurred before both sides became comfortable enough to wed, Singer said.
Closely held Reliva had already been trying to attract capital: it had been out looking for cash at $40 million pre-money valuation from venture capitalists, among others, according to two people familiar with the matter. That would be roughly three times Reliva’s annual revenue of $13 million to $14 million, Aurora confirmed Friday.
Instead, Reliva accepted $40 million in Aurora stock to sell the company outright, with another $45 million in potential earn-outs, as the companies announced Wednesday. When Aurora announced the deal, its largely retail investor base reacted positively, bidding up the price of Aurora stock after shares had already posted two days of 50% gains in response to its earnings report.
If successful, the acquisition will help Aurora establish a beachhead in the U.S. via a CBD asset and help to grow its partnership with Ultimate Fighting Championship, which is owned by a number of closely held venture-capital firms. But analysts are not portraying the deal as a no-doubt home run. Jefferies lowered its price target on Aurora stock to C$12 ($9.99) from C$14, to take into account estimates for Reliva.
In a note to clients Friday, Jefferies analyst Owen Bennett wrote that the deal’s timing and this particular acquisition is odd and the company’s focus on adjusted profits warrants a “close look.” In the news release announcing the deal, Aurora touted Reliva as “profitable,” but Singer told MarketWatch it meant on an adjusted basis, not using standard accounting.
“There is still no permanent CEO to lead this CBD push, the CBD space is experiencing significant headwinds currently, there is further dilution at a questionable multiple which has been a criticism of the past,” Bennett wrote. “Further, it potentially clouds the true underlying [earnings before interest taxes deductions amortization] delivery in [the first quarter] which could now be propped up by this deal.”
Reliva operates in a crowded market — there are likely hundreds of companies in the U.S. making cannabidiol, or CBD products — that is difficult to stand out in. While Aurora cited a report predicting the “CBD opportunity” to be $24 billion, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not issued clear guidance on the substance. Cannabis with tiny amounts of THC, called hemp, was legalized by the U.S. congress in late 2018, but the FDA has made clear that it is illegal to make food, drinks and cosmetic products with CBD as it figures out how to regulate the compound.
Martin says that while the FDA’s stance is important, he’s equally focused on state legalization — 41 have passed laws around CBD, which is a nonintoxicating compound found in the marijuana plant.
Reliva makes CBD products, but its true strength lies in its distribution network. Martin says that there are about 50,000 stores that sell CBD in the U.S. at the moment, and his company is selling products in 20,000 of them. And when Martin talks about stores, he’s referring to convenience stores like Circle K, which is owned by Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc.
, a multinational operator of convenience stores based in Laval, Quebec.
Martin says the company’s main pitch for its products is that they are cheap: they’re all under $20, while rival Lord Jones, which was acquired by Cronos Group Inc.
sells 30 gel capsules for $95.
Price could be key amid the COVID-19 pandemic, with Martin noting that disposable incomes are down. It could also hurt the business overall, though, as Martin admitted that the pandemic has impacted sales with a serious decline in foot traffic at convenience stores.
Martin said products have remained for sale, but the impact is unclear for the busy season — that’s May to September for the sorts of retailers on which Reliva relies. The summer months tend to be more lucrative quite simply because the weather is better.
“We have a seasonal business,” Martin said in a telephone interview.
A team of scientists from Canada have identified at least 13 strains of cannabis sativa they believe can aid in the prevention and treatment of COVID-19.
The President of the United States of America has spent the past few weeks touting a dangerous drug called hydroxychloroquine as a prophylactic treatment for COVID-19. Unfortunately, the president’s expertise is in reality TV, not medicine. Several studies have shown that hydroxychloroquine, a drug designed to treat malaria, has dangerous side-effects when used to treat coronavirus, including death.
The quest for a COVID-19 drug that will both make Donald Trump and his friends in the pharmaceutical industry rich and not kill the people who take it has, so far, netted no results. But exciting government-sponsored research out of Canada seems to indicate a different approach is in order.
Per the team’s research paper:
We have developed over 800 new Cannabis sativa lines and extracts and hypothesized that high-CBD C. sativa extracts may be used to modulate ACE2 expression in COVID-19 target tissues. Screening C. sativa extracts using artificial human 3D models of oral, airway, and intestinal tissues, we identified 13 high CBD C. sativa extracts that modulate ACE2 gene expression and ACE2 protein levels. Our initial data suggest that some C. sativa extract down-regulate serine protease TMPRSS2, another critical protein required for SARS-CoV2 entry into host cells.
What this means is the team has carefully developed several cannabis strains that have been experimentally shown to make it significantly more difficult for the SARS-CoV2 coronavirus to find a home inside of the tissue cells it latches onto in order to infect us with the COVID-19 disease.
It does not mean you should run out to your local dispensary and exhaust their sativa and CBD supply. The 13 strains cultivated by the researchers are almost certainly very different from whatever wacky-named strains you’re going to purchase over the counter. But, if you must take an untested treatment, I recommend taking Canada‘s lead and legally imbibing cannabis instead of listening to the Trump administration.
[Read: Don’t drink bleach]
A recent study led by Harvard Medical School professor Mandeep Mehra which looked at data from more than 96,000 COVID-19 patients, 15,000 of which had been treated with hydroxychloroquine, clearly showed that patients using the drug were at far greater risk for death than those who did not. Per a report from the Washington Post:
For those given hydroxychloroquine, there was a 34 percent increase in risk of mortality and a 137 percent increased risk of a serious heart arrhythmias. For those receiving hydroxychloroquine and an antibiotic — the cocktail endorsed by Trump — there was a 45 percent increased risk of death and a 411 percent increased risk of serious heart arrhythmias.
Those given chloroquine had a 37 percent increased risk of death and a 256 percent increased risk of serious heart arrhythmias. For those taking chloroquine and an antibiotic, there was a 37 percent increased risk of death and a 301 percent increased risk of serious heart arrhythmias.
Donald Trump recently told reporters and the US public that he’d been taking hydroxycholoroquine as a preventative measure to ward off COVID-19. Excepting the fact he has a small financial stake in Plaquenil – the drug name for hydroxycholoroquine — if he really wants to prevent COVID-19 he should imbibe cannabis. There’s no peer-reviewed evidence showing it’ll work, but at least it won’t kill him.
“I want the people of this nation to feel good. I don’t want them being sick” — Trump claims the White House doctor signed off on him taking hydroxychloroquine, which he says he was inspired to start taking because of letters he received pic.twitter.com/R0oKn9XMpP
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) May 18, 2020
Not only has no one ever died from imbibing cannabis, it has clear medical benefits for the prevention and treatment of diseases ranging from viral infections to cancer. That, and he might be less of an asshole if he smoked a joint every now and again.
For more information on the cannabis study, check out the full pre-print research paper here. And if you want to know more about why nobody should use hydroxycholorquine to prevent or treat COVID-19, please read this important study.
Despite the rise in popularity of CBD in the health and wellness industry over the past few years, there are still more questions than answers surrounding the product. It’s derived from cannabis, but it won’t get you high. It’s advertised as a cure for all types of medical conditions, but there’s only one CBD drug approved by the FDA so far. And, depending on whom you ask, it’s either a miracle cure or 21st-century snake oil. So what is CBD, and what should people know before trying it for themselves?
What is CBD?
The chemicals in cannabis are called cannabinoids, and in marijuana, which is a type of cannabis plant, the most prevalent and well-known cannabinoid is tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. This is what gives marijuana its psychoactive proprieties. The second-most common active compound found in the plant is cannabidiol, or CBD, which doesn’t produce any mind-altering effects on its own. CBD can also be found in hemp, another cannabis plant with far less THC than marijuana (around 0.3 percent or less, compared to marijuana’s 5 to 20 percent). Instead of consuming it for recreation, people seek out CBD for its purported therapeutic benefits, including help with pain and anxiety.
Does CBD work?
Name an ailment, and there’s a good chance that CBD has been touted as the cure. But according to Adriaan Zimmerman, longtime entrepreneur and co-founder of the hemp product company Ned, you should be wary of anyone advertising CBD oil as a wonder drug. “[CBD] has so many amazing benefits, but if you were drinking six cups of coffee a day and drinking a bottle of wine at night, not exercising, and eating processed foods, you’re pretty much shoveling snow at a blizzard,” he tells Mental Floss.
Devotees of Ned’s products seek out the company’s hemp oils for a number of reasons, including help with stress or insomnia. “The predominant one is a general sense of calm or less anxiety,” Ned co-founder Ret Taylor, whose background is also in business, says. “So really just the ability to relax and shut down.”
While there’s no shortage of sensational CBD headlines and claims to wade through, there is some evidence that CBD does have promising medicinal properties for certain issues. “The [applications for CBD] that seem most promising may be anxiety, pain, and insomnia,” Dr. Tim Welty, professor and director of research, innovation, and global initiatives at the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences at Drake University, tells Mental Floss.
There’s some early research that backs up these claims. After analyzing thousands of scientific abstracts, a committee from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine concluded that cannabis can be used to treat chronic pain—though there wasn’t enough evidence to support that CBD is effective on its own without other cannabinoids, such as THC. Regarding mental health, one small experiment in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology suggested that CBD reduces nervousness around public speaking in people with social anxiety. The findings on CBD’s calming effects vary, however. A different study found that CBD didn’t change how healthy participants reacted to unpleasant stimuli compared to a placebo group.
Welty notes that the placebo effect has been observed in CBD studies looking at ailments across the board, so “the jury’s still out on whether or not they will be shown to be effective” in these areas.
Pet wellness is another area that CBD companies are marketing toward, but Welty cautions against giving any of the products to your dog or cat, since he says the research on its effects on animals is even flimsier than it is for human patients. “I would be very hesitant about using CBD on a pet because there’s such little evidence to support that it’s safe, number one, and also that it’s effective,” Welty says.
Currently, there’s only one CBD-derived product available with FDA approval—a drug called Epidiolex that treats two rare forms of epilepsy. CBD is still new to the market, which means there isn’t yet a robust body of research to support whatever benefits it may have. More research is still needed to understand the compound’s relationship to conditions like chronic pain and anxiety, but if CBD does work, it may function much differently than most pharmaceuticals.
“It’s not an acute treatment of sorts,” Zimmerman says. “It’s really a cumulative effect, so it takes time and consistency to really feel the benefits of the product.”
What are the risks involved with CBD?
Despite the small pool of studies and lack of FDA regulation, many people are willing to bet on CBD because the risks seem relatively low. That being said, the product isn’t totally free of side effects. “If CBD were a pure, clean drug without side effects, without drug interactions and all that, I’d probably say fine, go ahead and try it,” Welty says. “But we know there are side effects for CBD and that there are drug interactions with CBD. So because of those two things, one has to be very, very cautious about experimenting with it.”
According to the Harvard Health Publishing blog, common side effects of CBD include fatigue, nausea, and, irritability. The New York Times also reported that some patients using Epidiolex had side effects that included elevated liver enzymes.
CBD may also be a problem if you’re regularly tested for marijuana use. Drug tests detect THC, and even though CBD products don’t have enough THC to get you high, some contain trace amounts that can potentially show up in tests. “It’s unlikely, but there’s a chance, and we don’t think anybody whose job depends on that should take that chance,” Taylor says.
Is CBD legal?
Since the 2018 Farm Bill passed in the U.S., there has been no federal law against buying and using CBD derived from a hemp plant with less than 0.3 percent THC; however, some states have passed their own restrictions on CBD usage—in Virginia, for example, you can only use CBD with a prescription, according to PBS.
The laws are much stricter for the businesses selling CBD. All health products, dietary supplements, and foods featuring the ingredient are technically illegal if they haven’t been approved by the FDA. Sellers can get around this law if they avoid making any claims about their products’ health benefits. Any CBD product derived from a marijuana plant, which contains higher THC, is still illegal at the federal level, though certain states have legalized marijuana for medicinal and recreational use.
What should I look for when buying CBD?
CBD’s popularity has skyrocketed faster than scientists and government regulators can keep up with, which means the products on the market vary wildly in quality. One rule of thumb to follow when shopping for CBD is to avoid gimmicky cash-grabs. Coffee, smoothies, and snacks with CBD on the label likely don’t contain enough of it to produce any real effects. You can also find CBD in products that aren’t meant to be consumed, like skin creams, but those haven’t yet been tested enough to truly know their effectiveness.
Over on the Harvard Health blog, Dr. Donald Levy, medical director at the Osher Clinical Center for Integrative Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and assistant clinical professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, specifically recommends staying away from any CBD product that you have to smoke. Instead, it’s suggested to take products orally as tablets, chewables, or tinctures.
Another sign that a company should be avoided is if they don’t mention testing in their marketing materials; if you can’t find evidence of tests or studies on the product’s website, they likely don’t exist. “There are a lot of products that don’t get third-party lab testing,” Zimmerman says. “When companies operate with transparency, they’re basically screaming their lab tests off the rooftops.”
A third-party lab test confirms that a bottle of CBD oil contains whatever’s on the label. Because CBD products aren’t regulated by the FDA, there’s no reason to trust you’re getting what you pay for if the seller offers no proof. So when you’re on a CBD website, look for certificates of tests done on their products from private labs, like the ones on Ned.
Finally, you should always research where a CBD product comes from before paying for it. CBD, just like the produce in your fridge, is a crop grown by farmers, and you can be just as picky with your hemp products as you are with your groceries. Ned’s oil is made from organic hemp grown on a Colorado farm and is meant to be administered with a dropper directly under the tongue and held there for at least 60 seconds.
To harvest the oil from the plants, Ned uses a slow, cold extraction method that takes place at -17°F. “What that does is reduce the heat and pressure from the extraction process,” Zimmerman says. “So we’re not burning off any of the good natural constituents from the plant or the flowers. And the end result is this incredibly aromatic oil.”
The current CBD market can be overwhelming, and the science can be equally confusing. And while it’s still too early to tell how effective CBD actually is, there are plenty of choices out there for consumers willing to give it a shot—just be sure to do your research first.